This section will guide you through the process of sizing and selecting a solar energy system. It is not intended at this time to teach you how to actually install your own system. In fact, if you are planning to have a grid-tied system to sell electricity to your local utility in Tennessee, your contract will state that the system must be installed by a certified installer and inspected by power company personnel.
The steps in selecting the size and location of your system include:
- Determine your energy needs by conducting an energy audit.
- Implement energy conservation and efficiency measures to reduce energy demands to the extent that is practical.
- Determine how much of your energy needs you wish to meet with solar, wind or other alternate energy sources.
Determine whether or not you have suitable space (location and size) to install the power generation system. Solar energy systems require south-facing locations free from shading by buildings, trees and other objects. Your site evaluation might require an evaluation of the roof supporting structures to determine if it can support the additional weight of the components and the best mounting system for your installation.
Make a preliminary economic evaluation to determine the fiscal viability of the project. This includes total installation cost, incentive plans and energy sales contracts, and the payback periods of loans.
Identify suppliers and installers to obtain quotes.
Pages will be added to this site to guide you through the process of determining your needs. Check back soon!
- For a grid-tied system, you will size the system to offset part or all of your energy needs to reduce your electric bill and/or produce income. Make a preliminary estimate of the system size necessary to meet the anticipated need.